Monday, April 25, 2022

The Friends of Notre Dame de Paris

Shelley Murray

Info 259

Preservation Management

3/29/2022

2019 Notre Dame Cathedral Fire


Late in the day on April 15th, 2019, a fire broke out beneath the roof of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France. The New York Times reported, “within moments, tiny bits of white smoke started rising from the spire — which, at 295 feet, was the highest part of the cathedral” (Nossiter & Breeden, 2019). The cathedral had been undergoing much-needed renovations, which unfortunately left hazardous substances in the open, including scaffolding and flammable materials. The fire sparked immediate headlines as the cathedral is an important French monument and tourist location, “tourists and residents alike came to a standstill, pulling out their phones to call their loved ones. Older Parisians began to cry, lamenting how their national treasure was quickly being lost” (Nossiter & Breeden, 2019). The cause of the fire is still up for speculation but now, years later, an inquiry into the fire has found that the cause may have been six electronic bells that were hung throughout the spire and roof. The cathedral's clergy had insisted on having bells chime, even during renovations, which went against safety regulations. Three medium-sized bells were put up in 2007 and three more in 2021. The temporary bells may have short-circuited, igniting the spire and roof. Investigators initially thought that sparks or heat must have come from the worker's tools, however after interviews with the Le Bras frere, the company that had been working on the spire, “confirmed that there was no heat source in the spire or the roof” (Thompson, 2021). Stating that, “nothing, no welding, no cutting, no grinding; I am positive” occurred, (Thompson, 2021). Efforts to combat the flames included using deluge guns at low pressure to not cause further damage to the cathedral. The integrity of the Notre Dame cathedral was at the forefront of staff and firefighters’ minds, even while fighting an increasingly dangerous blaze, leading responders not to use helicopters or aerial water-dropping because it could cause structural damage. With about 500 firefighters and numerous public servants working quickly and tirelessly the flames were under control by 11:00 pm but the cathedral was left with torched wood and a significant hole in its center.

 

Damage to the Notre Dame cathedral was concentrated in the center of the structure, affecting the spire, transept roof with ribbed vaulting, and high alter. The spire, which is also known as la fl├ęche or arrow, was destroyed in the blaze. In a bit of luck, the 16 copper statues that normally surround the spire, had been removed 4 days prior for restoration. Rescuers were worried about the fire reaching the rose window but fortunately, the stained glass was spared. “Mr. Gallet, the fire chief, said firefighters were still rescuing artworks in the building, hours after the fire had started. The main risk, he said, was the smoke within the cathedral, and the fall of materials, including melting lead.” With not only the cathedral itself at risk but “also to the gargoyles that cover its walls and to the stained glass, particularly its “rose” windows,” (Nossiter & Breeden, 2019). First responders were able to rescue most artwork and relics including a linen fabric associated with Saint Louis, the Holy Crown of Thorns, and the cathedral's treasury. These relics were taken to Paris City Hall for safe keeping. In Smithsonian Magazine, Katz (2019), noted that four large 17th and 18th-century paintings depicting the apostles were partially damaged and a fragment of the Crown of Thorns and relics from two saints have been destroyed. The paintings will be taken to the Louvre to be “treated and restored” (Marshall et al, 2019).


Notre Dame Cathedral Damage. (2022). [Illustration]. NBC. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/notre-dame-fire-what-was-damaged-n995371

Three years later, restoration of the Notre Dame cathedral is still underway, with the French government intending to reopen to hold service by 2024. All restoration plans go through an advisory council with the National Commission for Heritage and Architecture making approvals. Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris is the official group and charity leading international fundraising efforts to rebuild and restore Notre-Dame cathedral. The Friends of Notre Dame de Paris have been working with “the Archdiocese of Paris, the Foundation Notre-Dame in France, and with the Public Agency in charge of the preservation and the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris” (Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, 2021).

In 2019 the main goal was to protect staff during clean-up and safeguard against any further damage. Friends of Notre Dame de Paris included this safety work as the most important: installing a tarp above the vaults to protect from rain, lead decontamination, fortifying the north, south and west gables, especially to protect the 3 large rose windows, fortifying the most damaged pillars of the nave, reinforcing the flying buttresses, wrapping and protecting the gargoyles and other sculptural elements of the north and south towers and removing burnt and melted scaffolding that had previously surrounded the spire” (2019). With scaffolding removed the cathedral has been placed under a sort of umbrella structure to protect against the elements and workers are starting to focus on other areas of the cathedral. For any damage to the rib vaults work is handled by stonemasons and “consists of applying plaster in the gaps and the exposed ends of the stones. For more fragile pieces of the vaults, plaster will be reinforced with fiberglass” (Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, 2021).

By November and December, two projects were completed: removing all burned scaffolding and the Grand Organ was dismantled and removed. This was completed about a month ahead of schedule. The Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris (2019) stated that “the Grand Organ’s pipes will now be taken for repair and extensive cleaning to remove lead dust that settled in the aftermath of the fire. The restoration work, organ reassembly, and tuning are projected to finish by April 2024”. With the interior of the cathedral cleared out of damaged scaffolding, new supports can be built to help protect the vault walls and provide much-needed support during restoration. Oak trees have already been selected and harvested for the spire and the section of the burnt transept roof. The iconic spire will be rebuilt, identical to the one designed in the 19th century by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. Currently, the cathedral’s interior is being given a thorough cleaning. Friends of Notre Dame de Paris (2019) stated that “a thin layer of lead dust coated the cathedral’s interior in the aftermath of the fire.” Removing the lead dust is important for the worker's safety and to help conserve the integrity of the architectural elements. This painstaking work is done from the top of the interior walls to the bottom with tiny soft-bristled brushes. The dust is then vacuumed up using backpacks that the cleaners wear. “It is a meticulous and time-consuming process that requires the expertise of teams of stonemasons, sculpture and fine art restorers, locksmiths, ironworkers, and carpenters. This is also the first time that Notre-Dame Cathedral has been deep cleaned in this way!” (Friends of Notre Dame de Paris, 2022).

For Notre Dame’s interior, France’s National Heritage and Architecture Commission went over proposed plans to update and renovate the seating, lighting, lectern and guest facilities that had also been damaged from smoke, lead and water. Updates included more comfortable benches and having guests enter from a large door instead of side entrances. The chapels, however, will be restored to their original condition. Friends of Notre Dame de Paris stated that, “the chapels of Saint Ferdinand and Notre-Dame de Guadalupe, have already been completely restored.” With their restoration finishing in August, workers have “valuable insights on the best techniques for cleaning the paintings, stonework, and stained-glass windows in the cathedral” (2021).

 

Restoration work of Notre Dame has been very expensive, with the cost between 2019 and 2021 to be 165 million euros, (197 million dollars), and the final budget has yet to be determined. While funding is coming from the French government, donations are being accepted from all over the world. Most of that money went toward safety measures like stabilization and removing the burnt scaffolding. It should be noted that before the fire, the cathedral exterior and interior walls were in poor condition, hence the scaffolding. While the focus is on interior restorations, it is unclear if funds will be used on the cathedral's crumbling exterior. The website for Friends of Notre Dame cathedral accepts a few types of currency and has the option to donate once or monthly. A clever campaign that ran worldwide through the Friends of Notre Dame is an Adopt a Gargoyle program. Through a special gallery website, donors can track restoration progress on each artifact and donate to specific pieces that need help. For example, if you select the Gargoyle Phenex, you may choose to have your donation go towards his restoration. This clever idea sparked interest from all around the globe and is an interactive way to keep donors interested.

 

The 2019 fire at the Notre Dame cathedral was damaging to both the historic building and to the people of France. President Emmanuel Macron publicly stated, “the worst has been avoided even though the battle is not completely won,” (Nossiter & Breeden, 2019). While President Macron vowed that the cathedral will be rebuilt and gave a 5-year restoration deadline, it feels as though Notre Dame will take much longer. Throughout the restoration, craftsmen are still carefully and meticulously going over every inch of the cathedral interior removing dust and patching crumbling walls. Throughout clean up and restoration, the knowledge of skilled preservationists is being used to uphold the values of the cathedral and safely restore Notre Dame to its prior state of gothic glory. We can see the love that each person involved has for the cathedral. Hopefully we will hear bells (not electronic) ringing in the near future.


References

Friends of Notre Dame de Paris. (2022, 2021, 2019). Reconstruction Progress.

https://www.friendsofnotredamedeparis.org/reconstruction-progress/

Friends of Notre Dame de Paris. (2022). Restore Notre Dame.

https://restorenotredame.org/gallery/

Katz, B. (2019). What happened to Notre-Dame’s precious art and artifacts? Smithsonian

Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-happened-notre-dames-precious-art-and-artifacts-180971977/

Marshall, A., & Stack, L., & Murphy, H. (2019). Fate of Priceless Cultural Treasures Uncertain

After Notre-Dame Fire. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/world/europe/crown-of-thorns-notre-dame.html

Matthews, L. (2021). Notre-Dame Cathedral’s restoration progresses after devastating fire. Afar.

https://www.afar.com/magazine/what-will-it-take-to-rebuild-notre-dame-cathedral

Mentuck, M. (2019). The Notre Dame Cathedral: What restoration looks like two years later. Go

Nomad. https://www.gonomad.com/187648-notre-dame-restoration-two-years-later

Nossiter, A., & Breeden, A. (2019). Fire mauls beloved Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The

New York Times. (2019).

 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/world/europe/notre-dame-fire.html

Thompson, H. (2021, April 15). Notre Dame fire: New cause investigated as 2024 service date

confirmed.  Connexion France.

https://www.connexionfrance.com/article/French-news/Notre-Dame-fire-New-cause-investigated-as-2024-service-date-confirmed-on-second-anniversary-of-fire

Wu, J., & Arkin, D., & Muccari, R. (2022). An icon in flames. Notre Dame cathedral illustration.

NBC. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/notre-dame-fire-what-was-damaged-n995371

Friday, October 29, 2021

New Baby-New Treats

 Hi there! 

Well, it's been a year or so and a lot has happened. The start of 2021 was bittersweet. We lost family members, including my cooking buddy Jack, but we gained a few new babies. So with deep sadness, there is also an overwhelming amount of new love. Say hello to Cass, or pandemic baby! 

I decided that I needed to start making treats again and found the perfect book! The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook and entertaining guide.

So making treats is going to be a bit different this time around. With a new baby, my time is never my own, and doing anything takes a lot longer. With that being said these posts will be fun but a bit shorter haha! 
For my first treat, I chose these Mummy Tartlets. Aren't they cute! 
I started by baking the butternut squash with some olive oil, pepper and salt. Cass had fun watching this stage. I made sure to narrate the process and point out that the oven needed to be at 425 degrees. 

While the squash bakes, I cut out pastry rounds and strips for the mummy wraps. I decided to only make 7 tarts since the dough was pre-rolled. Which, thanks Craig, made things easier but I couldn't roll it out and get even more rounds. To prepare the dough, I used an egg wash.
This was about the time that we needed to take a Mr. Calimari break and then a nap LOL! I had to finish the tartlets alone...but he lasted longer than I thought. Hopefully, the next treat keeps his attention. 
After the squash was baked, smooshed and cooled, I added them to the pastry rounds. 
Next came the delicious goat cheese, two olives for the mummy eyes, and the remaining pastry strips for its wraps. Make sure to smoosh the edges down to attach the round and strips together. Place in the fridge for about 30 mins to chill the dough. 

After that, bake for 25 mins and voila! Mummy tartlets! A fun savory Halloween bite. They were scrumptious and went well with a spinach salad. The goat cheese adds a nice tartness with the earthy butternut squash. 
Looks like I should have made the strips a bit thinner though.
Thanks for reading,
Bunny and Cass

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Asparagus and Gruyere Quiche

 Morning! 

For Thanksgiving morning I wanted to cook up something special for my family. Little did I know how unbelievably good Gruyere cheese is! LOL Jack liked it too, in very small nibbles, of course!

The first step was creating the Press-In Crust (page 17). I stirred together tapioca flour (I searched but couldn't find any oat flour), all purpose flour and salt. Then drizzled in melted butter and ice water. Mixed well by hand and pressed into the pie pan. For this crust I needed to par-bake it for about 10 mins before adding the filling. 

Next I set the oven to 375 and started the filling, bending each asparagus stalk in half at their natural breaking point. Then cut the top halves in half. I went ahead and cut off any harder stalk ends. 

In a pan, I heated up some olive oil and added the asparagus, julienned yellow onions, salt and pepper. Then cooked, stirring occasionally, until the onions were soft and asparagus turned bright green. Which only took about 5 to 7 minuets. Important, remove from heat and let cool. You do not want to put hot veggies into a cream/egg mixture.

While cooling, I whisked together 4 eggs and 1 cup light cream in a separate bowl and seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Next was Jack's favorite part, sprinkling the Gruyere cheese on the bottom of the crust. He watched with anticipation...of course I gave him a nibble! 
Then I added the now cooled asparagus and onions with a bit of thyme over the crust. Then I poured the egg mix over the top and added the remaining cheese, sprinkling the delicious shavings all over. I don't know why I was surprised, but it was starting to look like a real quiche!  I set this good lookin quiche into the over and baked from about 25 minuets. 
Checking to make sure the top was a golden brown and custard set I removed the pan and set aside. There is was, the first quiche I have ever made and it was perfect! 
This quiche had an old-world flavor. True to what I think Theresa Carle-Sanders was trying to achieve. It was simple yet rich and cheesy. Totally savory, scrumptious and satisfying! My family loved it and the quiche was gone in seconds. 

Thank you Outlander Kitchen for another amazing meal! Happy Holidays!

Bunny

Monday, November 30, 2020

Jerry MacKenzie's Time-Traveling Pasties

Hello Lovelies! 

The Outlander Kitchen Cookbook: To the New World and Back Again has some truly wonderful recipes that I wanted to try out. First being the Time-Traveling Pasties! Filled with chicken, turnip and potatoes they seemed like the perfect little treat.

Starting with the dough I mixed 2tsp of salt and 4 cups of flour together, creating a 'well' in the center. Then I poured in 3/4 cup melted butter, 1 cup warm water and an egg into that 'well'. Mixing by hand I carefully transformed the contents into a thick dough, ready to be kneaded!

For some reason dough always seems complicated to me, but this didn't take any time at all. After I kneaded the dough into a smoother ball, I wrapped it in plastic and placed in the fridge to chill out for about an hour. 

While waiting for the dough, I started preparing my filling. Dicing up a potato and turnip. Shredding a carrot, chopping some fresh parsley and soaking one luscious leek. Which I found out was an important step because a fresh leek is covered in dirt!
After soaking in cold water I halved the leeks and added them to the rest of the filling, along with 1 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. For the meat eaters in the family (I made a few without) I diced up a pound of boneless chicken thighs.
On a floured surface I rolled out my chilled dough and cut out three 7-inch circles. Placed about a 6th of the filling in each center, making sure each pasty had equal parts chicken, potato and turnip he he! Then after wetting the top edge of the pastry I brought the top to meet with the bottom and pinched. Creating a little crescent pocket.
With a sharp knife I made three little cuts on each side, to let them vent while baking. Then I repeated these steps for the remaining dough and filling. Once all my tasty pasties had been filled I wrapped and placed them in the fridge for 30 mins. Again, this helps the dough set and properly bake later on. While you wait, set the oven to 400 degrees and move the rack to the upper-middle rung.
After their fridge time was up I whisked up an egg and 1tsp of water to brush over the pasties. This got a tad messy but I knew they would taste even more delicious!
Once brushed I set them in the oven to bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Checking after about 30 to see their progress and they were already turning golden brown. After giving them an additional 5 minutes I pulled them out to cool. 
Voila! Beautiful golden pasties! Now they did not look as perfect as they do in the cookbook, but they were pretty close! 
These little creations are like rustic hot-pockets...hoooot pooocket! Sorry not sorry!

 These pasties were not exactly decadent, however I really liked the flavor of the leeks and potatoes. The chicken definitely added extra flavor to the pasties. Creating a very earthy rich flavor! Their simplicity really makes them great for a quick bite too. Little handheld snacks, both filling and delicious.

After finishing these up I started to think about what else I could add to them! I bet some bacon would go over very well! 

Thanks!

Bunny

Monday, June 22, 2020

Savannah Clam Chowder

Morning Loves! 
I'm so excited to start sharing recipes from the brand new Outlander Kitchen Cookbook! This continuation of hearty historically driven dishes draws inspiration from the New World that Jamie and Claire find themselves in. There are so many yummy meals to try! 
I wasn't sure which to start with but a marvelous opportunity presented itself. My mom suggested we come for a visit to celebrate my dad's birthday and fathers day, which are close together. He has always preferred home cooked meals, much to my teenage dismay, so I thought it would be fun to surprise him with a home-made treat! I settled on Savannah Clam Chowder!
Clam Chowder is so far from what I usually try to attempt so I thought it would be a great challenge. One new experience presented itself quickly, I had never actually ordered anything from the deli counter, let alone purchased 4 pounds of clams. I felt like a real wifey...should have had a kerchief tied around my head to keep my freshly curled hair in place. Besides my new vintage 50s wife fantasy, all other ingredients were easily found and I was on my way toward Chowder dominance! Let's start this journey...
 For the first step in making chowder, you need to prep the clams. Add clams and two cups of water to a dutch oven type pot, bringing them to a boil. The shells should open in about 4 to 8 minutes. Go ahead and discard any that do not open. Side note, don't be swayed by their salty smell and sandy goo, fresh clams are the best choice. It really made a difference taste wise. Also, 4 pounds sound like a lot but the weight is mainly from its shells. 
Transfer the clams to a pot using a slotted spoon and filter the excess water through a cheese cloth and save, adding in fresh water to equal about 6 cups. Once the clams cool off, go ahead and pull the meat from their shells and set aside. If the clam meat is large just chop into more bite-sized pieces.
While waiting for the clams to cool, I went ahead and prepped the other ingredients for the chowder. Chopping up 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 8 ounces of salt pork and about 2 pounds of yellow potatoes.
In the cleaned dutch oven, cook the pork until golden and transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour off any excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1/4 cup in the pan to cook with. Add the diced onions and celery, cooking until onions are translucent and golden. When the pork was ready to remove I didn't have a lot of grease left but the veggies cooked well anyways, so don't fret.
Next stir in 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. My dad doesn't like too much spice so I was pretty light handed with the pepper. However I served Craig's with a great deal more sprinkled on top. 
After stirring for about 30 seconds add in 1/4 cup of flour, stirring for 2 minutes. This is when you add the clam broth/water you had saved, 2 bay leaves and the diced yellow potatoes. I chose to use little potatoes that wouldn't need to be peeled. They also cooked much quicker. After adding in the clam broth I was nervous that the soup would be...well...too soupy. But the water cooked down a little and the potatoes added much needed starch. 
Bring soup to a simmer over medium heat and let cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. I checked the potatoes by sticking them with a fork, if they fall off, you are good to go!
After removing the bay leaves, add in the salt pork, 2 cups of light cream and most importantly the clams! Finally right!? Stir the chowder and increase the temperature until the soup is 'piping hot'. Do not boil. Season with salt and pepper, as you like, and you are ready to serve. Voila! Home-made clam chowder!
The Outlander Cookbook shows the chowder in two rustic bowls which is just lovely but I thought it would be even better to serve the chowder in sourdough rolls! Before you ask, no I did not make the sourdough but I did think about it he he! This little detail really turned out nicely.
Okay, not to brag but my dad was impressed with my chowder skills! Thanks to Theresa Carle-Sanders I served a wonderfully rich lunch that reminded him of past trips to the east coast! It was simplistic but not overpoweringly creamy and really let the ingredients speak for themselves. The salt pork was the main note, cutting back on the brininess of the clams, but the thyme brought an earthy flavor which was really nice. Such a great treat! My dad didn't even mind the hint of spice! 
The only negative will be pandora's box that I just opened. He's going to expect more of these home-cooked meals now he he! 
Thanks for readin!
Cheers, Bunny

Monday, May 25, 2020

Drunk in Luv

Hi there! 
Santa Cruz is heating up so I grabbed some watermelon for the Sakara Drunk in Luv Cocktail. So refreshing and yummy!
For this drink you will need: 1 cup of watermelon juice, a few pieces of cubed watermelon, 1 shot of rum, ice and some fresh mint. Luckily I had everything except the watermelon. Tip for picking out a top-notch melon, give them a quick knuckle tap and listen. The more hollow they sound the better. 
Once you have everything, place your watermelon cubes, mint and ice into your glass. Then stir together the watermelon juice and shot of rum. Pour that mixture over the ice, mint and cubes. 
Voila! A refreshing lightly sweet cocktail for those hot summer days!
I went ahead and made some more to share, Jack supervised!
Cheers Luvs!
-Bunny